“Yellow journalism” is thriving in mainstream media on topics related to Natural Health Products (NHPs).
Most sources define it is as, “A type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers [or drive traffic to online media].” “Unprincipled journalism where little real research is done.” “Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.”
Yellow refers to the colour of ink used at two rival New York City newspapers when the battle for readership was fought through exploitative, and even fabricated, news.
We shared with you CBC’s the Fifth Estate’s episode “Magic Pills” debacle over the past couple of months, and their eventual retraction. Read Shawn Buckley’s rebuttal.
We’d consider what the CBC did yellow journalism.
PBS’s programming is questioned from the use of yellow journalism in a Frontline episode that aired January 19, 2016. Watch the full “Supplements and Safety” episode.
Several natural health advocates and practitioners were quick to call them out on perpetuating the misconceptions and myths surrounding NHPs and their lack of safety and effectiveness.
Dr. Andrew Saul, Editor of the Orthomolecular News Service, wrote an excellent article on January 17, “Supplement Bashing on PBS”, pre-dating Frontline’s episode to dispel the four “legends” around the NHP and pharmaceutical drug industries. These include:
1. Supplements are unregulated
2. Supplements are untested and unproven! They reach the market without being tested and without proof of safety and effectiveness!
3. With pharmaceuticals, it is different! FDA thoroughly tests drugs before they are marketed!
4. Supplements are dangerous, even deadly!
Our friends at Alliance for Natural Health (ANH USA) published an article on January 26, 2016, “Has PBS Become a Front for Big Pharma?” calling out several of their erroneous and misleading statements as well.